Nick Stephens has been creating commercial and fine art professionally for over ten years. He was born and raised in Utah and has lived and traveled throughout the western United States. His early creative mentors were Steve Egan and Scott Betz. More recently he has studied painting with professional artists John Horejs, Michael Malm, and William Whitaker. He also worked in an unofficial partnership with veteran special effects artist Clark Schaffer since 2008. He works from his in-home studio in Utah.
You work in a host of different media. Do you jump around or have you evolved from one area to another? Both. When I started selling professionally through a gallery, I was only selling my heavily textured mixed media pieces. I focused on those for several years, while experimenting with my other mixed media pieces as a personal artistic exploration, those experiments evolved into my current “style” that I work in most of the time now. I still get several requests for the original textural pieces, but I generally don’t make them anymore unless someone really wants them, and is willing to pay for them.
You’ve worked with your brother on pieces. How does the dynamic work between brothers in the creative process? My brother Brad and I have lived together for about twelve years, so we have well established routines and patterns of living. We have this habit of analyzing and discussing pretty much everything, from church doctrine to the design on a cereal box. Impromptu unstructured creative rambling is also a routine part of everyday life at our house. Historically it was me that did all the physical labor of painting and he was the trusty consultant, only recently have I worked intensely with him on the actual physical creation of art. But now he is making his own pieces, with me teaching him how to do all things that he has watched me do for years. Brad has a keen sense of artistic propriety and has a gift for inspired ideas coming to him. He also picks up on techniques rather quickly, which is good since I don’t have a ton of patience for teaching. Yes, there are disagreements, strong opinions, impassioned speeches and frustrations. But we genuinely like each other and there are really great times with super funny experiences and really cool art that comes out of it all in the end, and that makes it worth the effort. People that visit with us in our home are usually struck with the amount of creative activity in our lives, but to us it is so ingrained as part of what we do everyday that we don’t really even notice. It is only when we get out to other places that we realize just how odd we must seem to the average person.